HUNTINGDONSHIRE YOUTH (GAYTON CUP) CUP FINAL (at Eynesbury Rovers FC)
ST NEOTS TOWN U18 2 ST IVES TOWN U18 1
St Neots’ Academy side picked up the Hunts Youth Cup for the first time since 2013 beating neighbours St Ives in a tightly fought Final. Aiming to add this Trophy to their recently acquired Thurlow Nunn West Division title this was St Ives’ third time as runners-up since lifting the Trophy in 2004. Still aiming for their domestic treble, St Neots need to win their last match to lift the Thurlow Nunn Cambridge Division title and they are still in the latter stages of the League Cup.
The opening phase of the match was nervy with neither side showing much penetration but what the game lacked in attacking quality it more than compensated for with passion and commitment. Erhan Nurettin saw the first goal bound effort deflected and Shae Humphrey sent a header wide from a corner but St Ives replied as Matt Wright broke clear only to be denied as Evan Jeckells dived bravely at his feet to smother. The best first half move saw Andre Williams free Sam Piesse on the right but his angled shot was cleared off the line by Jamie Short with his keeper beaten. Towards the end of the first half Andre Williams brought a good save from Tom Smith but put a second effort wide of the target.
The second half was a more feisty affair with Jack Eldridge hooking over the bar after good work by Ben Southwood and after some sustained pressure St Neots took the lead on the hour as Alfie Donkin won the ball well in midfield to send Eldridge away on the left and his clever pull back found Ben Southwood at the far post and he rifled home. This seemed to galvanise St Ives and they were unlucky not to level two minutes later when Tiago Dias beat Evan Jeckells dive but saw the ball clip the outside of the far post to be cleared. After their best spell of the match St Ives levelled the scores twelve minutes from time when Wright was upended as he made for goal and from the resultant penalty award Tiago Dias sent the keeper the wrong way. Now both sides went all out for a winner and this arrived just four minutes later when substitute Luke Taylor’s shot was blocked by a defender and Owen Bevan followed up to smash the ball into the roof of the net. In the melee that followed the St Ives keeper appeared to push Bevan to the ground and the St Neots players’ retaliation earned him a red card with the keeper seeing yellow. Down to ten men St Neots continued to look the better side and in added time Ben Southwood ballooned a good chance over the bar from a Williams cross and then took on the last two defenders before again shooting off target.
St Neots: Jeckells, Collins, Piesse, Donkin, Clarke (I), Humphrey, Williams. Nurettin, Southwood, Bevan, Eldridge
Subs used: Taylor (L), Waites (not used) Chambers, Clarke (H) and Taylor (C)
Cards: Bevan (RED – 83), Eldridge (Y – 63), Humphrey (Y – 78), Clarke (Y – 80)
Goals: Southwood (60), Bevan (82)
St Ives: Smith (T), Smith (E), Zoric, Short, Sheppeard, Polhos, Davidson, Lloyd, Wright, Dias, Anenou
Subs used: Saunders (not used) Kwiatowski, McFarlane, McDaid and Vaz
Cards: Dias (Y – 65), Saunders (Y – 66)
Goals: Dias – pen – (78)